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Minister's Bungle Threatens Aus-NZ Relationship

Minister's Bungle Threatens Special Australia-NZ Relationship

Australia's adverse reaction to the New Zealand amnesty on overstayers was entirely predictable, National Immigration spokesperson Marie Hasler said today.

"It was thoughtless and incompetent of the Immigration Minister not to discuss her plans with her Australian counterpart.

"Ms Dalziel should have taken the basic step of discussing her intentions with the Australian Immigration Minister.

"Her handling of this has put unnecessary pressure on New Zealand's special non-visa relationship with Australia.

"This Government has clearly not thought through the consequences of its sudden change to New Zealand's immigration policy. Australia had warned New Zealand that visa-free travel between New Zealand and Australia could be at risk if New Zealand becomes a soft touch for illegal migrants.

"New Zealand cannot afford to be isolated. Our relationship with Australia is incredibly important and it is vital that we take issues affecting our common border seriously," Ms Hasler said.

Ends

A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.

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